AFL Round 4 – St Kilda v Adelaide: Looking at life another way

This week has been one of my hardest in the quest to remain positive about life.  And I am not talking about footy results and the belting at the hands of the Crows on Sunday afternoon.  There have been three losses in my circle, one through age which one can always accept, one through illness which is harder, and the hardest of all is the death of a baby not yet amongst us.  It has given me a beating and all I can do is support those who are suffering more.

And keep putting one foot in front of another, and this is life and every single one of us has experienced some version of the above at some time.  It is part of living, this dying stuff.

My football family was diminished for this game.  Bob and Gary are grandfather and uncle to the bar mitzvah boy, and the family party was Sunday afternoon. (On Saturday morning I had rocked up to Synagogue, dressed in my long black skirt, white top and red jacket.  I made my other Uncles laugh [I have four from Dad’s side], the two who noticed my get up, and they laughed even harder when they saw my jewellery, glasses and nails.  I like making people laugh, and I seem to be doing a good job of it.  I figure if I have to sit through that kind of event, I can amuse myself however I please.  Not a great worshipper of that kind of religion.

Rina began to feel unwell yesterday and pulled the plug too.  I had lined up possible interchange guests but they had more pressing matters to attend to.  I contacted DD, and he was running a marathon on Sunday morning and wasn’t sure he’d be up to it.  I faced the footy gods and was prepared to go to the footy all on my own.  I needed it that much this week.  The pure, utter and total diversion and occupation of watching a bunch of guys run around kicking (or not kicking) the ball through big white sticks.  Being around all the similar mad people who come week in and out, even when we are not doing so well.  There are so many less Saints than 3 years ago, all faded away into the shadows until the boys rise again.

On the train in Caulfield, where my son Dan dropped me at 2, I got talking to Sue and Mark, originally Adelaide supporters but because their daughter was a Sainter, Sue got converted.  Mark was left to be the only Crow in the family.  We talked about our kids and our footy kids and the Almanac and our expectations.  More new friends, going for a day out in this pleasant weather.

In the end, expecting to be on my own, while buying a footy record, I was tapped on the shoulder by DD who was walking along behind me and spotted a familiar back.  I was tapped by the tall bloke and I almost cried with pleasure that I had a mate.  In the end, he went to sit with his brother who came unexpectedly for the 2nd and 3rd quarter, and DD was too buggered from running to change seats in the last.  And Rina had felt better and turned up and so we had each other through the game (She came 10 minutes late and left 10 minutes early but bless her heart she came).  I made friends with Wendy two seats up, and gave her my card.  She has two regular seats but has a brother who likes to come, and he can come use one of my seats when he wants.  I have one begging most weeks now.  This week I had three (if I count my uncle and cousin).

I had thought we’d have a show against Adelaide but they chose this week to be good and record their first win of the season.  Mark at least will be happy in his family of Saints.  It was pretty quiet in the St Kilda sections. We sparked up when there was good play and a goal, but we were smacked so badly, that wasn’t often enough.  Twenty goals to seven.  At least the Crows were happy.  I loved seeing Jack Stevens back and he kicked a thrilling one over his back, but missed one straight in front later and then two others.  It was that kind of game.  Got to see Shane Savage goal one, and see Stanley play better and Gwilt play forward for a change and Maister play in defence.  It was a funny old game.  Riewoldt worked his butt off again, as did Lenny.  Billy Longer debuted for the Saints in the number 18 which still makes me think of Brendon Goddard.  And poor Nathan Wright broke his leg.  Awful to see how many of the young men from each team are getting such terrible injuries, and he’d been quite good and solid in our defence.  And the injury was from friendly fire.

The Crows lived up to the Saints experience of them – they were just too fast and too hard and one after another of their players just used this game to find their game.  Podsiadly goaled three, Jenkins four, Mackay and Petrenko two, and then singles to Sloan, Write, Brown, Kerridge, Betts, Douglas, Dangerfield and Crouch.  There was one more they got but I was so overwhelmed by their scoring that I didn’t record it properly.  Goal 7 of their 20 remains a mystery to me.

I sat in my seat at the end waiting for DD to bring my ticket back.  We chatted a few minutes, remained philosophical and parted ways.  I walked the Latrobe Street end thinking that would get me to the Town Hall in Collins Street.  A little bit off with my directions, a bit like my boys today.  It was good stretching out and walking into town, and I headed across a couple of blocks until making it to Bourke Street, and sat in the café right next door to the Town Hall.  Here I relaxed and enjoyed watching other young men making magic.  “Fun Crew” are a group of dancers who entertained me for the next ½ hour, doing all those weird things like spinning on their heads and jumping around doing great contortions to music, great music, while gathering enough people/crowd to do their show and gather some money.  Some of them work in schools during the week, teaching rap dancing (I am so old I am not sure if that is what it is actually called).  I talked to one of the young men, Shane, afterwards, and they are happy when they make $25!  Now that’s positivity for you.  Often the money goes to the guy who needs it the most that week.  I remember now how little I could live on when I was their age, early twenties.  I told them they’d be in my story this week.  They have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/weareFUNCREW.  Look them up.  They are for hire, for schools, parties, probably even bar mitzvahs.

Then I walked up the road to the Comedy Festival Venue, to see Colin Lane.  Dan and Mimi were coming in by train, and were cutting it close.  In the queue upstairs, still carrying my footy gear, I saw two other supporters similarly attired.  So I went back to where they were in the line just to get my post-game footy chat happening.  So I yakked with Nicole and Andrew, the obvious Saints, and we found Coralene, a closet one who wanted to know the scores.  With Coralene, her friend, Nicole and Andrew, the game was dissected, analysis made, shoulders shrugged, laughter had, and that was all before the comedy show even started.  Coralene told us she used to be married to an ex St Kilda player.  The world is a funny place.  Dan and Mimi made it before the queue started moving, and are bemused when finding me making new friends all the time.  I am sure there is a lot of internal eye rolling happening.

The show was funny, we had lots of laughs and it was good to see Colin back on stage seemingly enjoying himself too.  As we walked towards the station, we tried to remember the last time we were all together like this, and it was in LA last December.  And we hadn’t been to the Comedy Festival in 4 years, so enjoyed this old habit of ours once again.  I even bought my kids Macca’s soft ice-creams just because, though I refuse to go in if I can help it.  Instead, I stood outside and took photos of the lovely horses and the red, white and black carriage and talked to Daniel, also decked out in my colours, who looked after the carriage and was an Essendon supporter.  I gave him the news of his teams thrashing with no pleasure.  I had realised that every game this weekend was a whipping for one team; there was not one close game to be had. And Brendon was injured too.

And so we journeyed home and played with our digital devices and the day and week of football is over.  At home, I listen to Allan Richardson give members a little insight to the team after a game, and his talk of our poor performance.  I had said to Rina at the game that the positive take on the Saints week was that it gave Allan Richardson plenty to work with.  Let’s see what the boys can produce against a battered and bruised and travelling Essendon next week.  Maybe there is something to teams being beaten up after the travels to the west.

All I can say to finish is that I got my wish.  I was pleasantly diverted today and I thank the universe for that.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. Yvette – when I read some of your pieces I get the wistful yearning to compile them as ‘A Sainters Search for Meaning’ as a companion piece to Victor Frankl.
    On a brighter note I had to smile while waiting to tee off at the first hole at Royal Maylands on Saturday. A bloke in the group in front of us pulled out a strange looking white driver, with red and black stripes. I commented jokingly to my mates that the bloke must be a long suffering Saints supporter. Then I checked out his clothes, which all seemed similarly coordinated. When he turned around after teeing off I could see the St Kilda crest monogram stitched above his heart. He had the same on his golf bag and head covers.
    Next time I see him I will pass on your contact details. He looked about 30, but you appear to have a common passion.
    Keep making lemonade from the lemons.

  2. David Downer says

    Good one, Yvette.

    You are a consummate lady of the people #thepeople

    And I am more than happy for the15km to be redefined as a “marathon”.

    Judging by my ginger limbs and clustered knee today – it may as well have been!

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Yvette a reminder that it is just a game and that there are more important things in life and unfortunately death never goes astray and spot on when this does happen sport is the best way to escape for a while . Enjoyable game and life write up .
    Thanks Evette

  4. Impressive piece Yvette.

    Impressive run DD!!

  5. Neil Anderson says

    Yvette you show all of us slackers up.
    I was waiting to read how you slumped off home after a bad defeat by your beloved Saints, but no, you end up at the Comedy Festival for goodness sake!
    Putting things into perspective and living life to the fullest extent is a great message for the rest of us.
    After watching Nick and Lenny in action yesterday, I can’t understand how the Saints did so badly.

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